A little while ago, I shared some recipes with you here on the blog from Anjum Anand. I was over the moon when we received some of her curry sauce cooking kits to try out too.
Even before I got down to cooking or tasting them, I was impressed on a number of levels. Firstly, the recipes are very original and authentic-sounding, breaking out of the usual korma/madras/rogan josh rut of most curry cooking sauces. I'd never even heard of Keralan Coconut Curry or Punjabi Tomato Curry but I couldn't wait to try them. Secondly, the packaging promises that they are made fresh in small batches, so you almost get the impression that Anjum Anand has been knocking up an intimate dinner for you to enjoy in her kitchen rather than just buying a mass-produced industrial product !
And thirdly, I love the fact that you get not only a pouch of sauce but also a little packet with whole spices to add extra flavour and authenticity to the dish.
The packaging gives you simple step-by-step instructions as well as Anjum's tasting notes, which tell you all about the recipe that you are preparing. It really is simple and quick to prepare.
We decided to try the Keralan Coconut Curry first. You fry the whole spices for 20 seconds in a spoonful of oil to release the flavours. As the tasting notes explain, you get optional red chilli for clean heat, curry leaves for aromatic warmth and brown mustard seeds for a nutty note. I love the way the ready-made sauce is great for nervous or beginner cooks while the whole spices help you to discover new ingredients that you may not have used before. (This was the first time I'd ever used whole curry leaves.)
The instructions now tell you to add the sauce to the spices, add some water, bring to the boil then add the fish, meat or vegetables (we were using chicken) and simmer until cooked through - approximately 3-6 minutes. I wanted to use the Actifry so precooked the chicken for a few minutes before adding the spices, sauce and a little water.
The finished dish is fragrant, mildly spiced (so even the kids, who often don't like curry or spicy dishes, loved it) and refreshingly different. If you're thinking there's not a huge amount of sauce in the picture above, it's designed to serve 2-3 using 300g of firm white fish, prawns, pork, chicken, duck breast or vegetables but, as the kids liked it, I ended up using 500g of chicken for five servings. This gave a chicken tikka type of consistency, with each piece of chicken generously coated in sauce, but with very little liquid sauce to soak into the accompanying rice.
The Punjabi Tomato Curry is another mellow curry but I might "misinform" (which is a nicer way of saying lie to !) the kids that it's really spicy so that I can do the suggested 2-3 servings with lashes of sauce next time !
You can watch Anjum watching the dish here : http://www.thespicetailor.com/recipes-and-demos/keralan-coconut-curry/
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £2.89 for 225g
for more information : http://www.thespicetailor.com/
Disclosure : We received two Spice Tailor curry kits in order to write the review.
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